A Nairobi court has deferred the ethnic contempt case against Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina pending a determination whether the charge filed against him is defective or not.
Milimani Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku directed an application seeking to quash the case against ole Kina be heard on June 5.
The magistrate directed defence lawyers Omwanza Ombati and Prof George Wajackoya to file a substantive application objecting the case filed against the Senator by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) through the office of the Director Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Opposing plea taking , Mr Ombati said the charge drawn against the politician offends Article 50 of the Constitution on fair trial and Article 60 on land rights.
“I urge this court to defer the taking of plea in this case against Senator ole Kina. I was served with a copy of the charge sheet while in court. I want to file an application to quash the case,” Mr Ombati told Ms Mutuku.
The lawyer said the charge as it is drafted offends the article on resolution of disputes out of court.
He urged the magistrate to indulge the suspect and allow him to file an application which will determine on the validity of the charge.
Prof Wajackoya said all those who were involved in the television interview should also be charged.
But two State prosecutors, Joseph Riungu and Angela Fuchaka, opposed the request to defer the plea saying the application was made “in bad faith”.
Mr Riungu told the court that the application to defer the plea is aimed at delaying the disposal of the case filed against the politician.
“The charge presented before court is not defective at all. It is proper. Let him answer it,” Ms Fuchaka said.
Mr Riungu said the charge sheet as drafted “satisfies all the legal requirements as the facts as presented are clear and understandable.”
He said the charge sheet discloses an offence and “the senator should not fault it now but should be called upon to answer it.”
Mr Riungu said Article 27 of the Constitution stipulates that all must be treated equally in the face of the law.
“There should be no law for Senators and ordinary citizens. All should be treated equally in the face of the law .He should plead now,” Riungu urged the magistrate.
He stated Mr Ombati was served with summons and the charge in May 22 and “he had all the time to file the application opposing the case.”
In her brief ruling the magistrate allowed the defence lawyers request to lodge an application challenging the charge as it is drafted.
“I will allow the defence request to challenge the charge,” ruled Ms Mutuku.
The charge drawn against ole Kina is that of ethnic contempt contrary to Section 62 (1) of the NCIC.
It is alleged that on February 19 during a television interview, ole Kina allegedly uttered words that were intended to incite feelings of discrimination against non-Maasai communities living in Narok County.
Ms Mutuku extended the police bond given to ole Kina up to June 5.